In its 2014 financial performance SOL S.p.A benefitted from positive consolidated sales of €636.4m, which were up 6.9% from €595.4m in 2013 – an increase of over €40m.
These are highlights of the consolidated figures approved today by the Board of Directors of SOL S.p.A., a company listed on the Italian Stock Exchange that acts as holding company of a multinational group, with more than 2,900 employees, involved in the business of technical gases and home-care assistance, operating in Europe and in India.
At the upcoming shareholders’ meeting, called for 12th May, 2015 in Monza, the company’s Board of Directors will propose distribution of the dividend of €0.11 per ordinary share (€0.10 in 2013), to be paid starting from 20 May, 2015.
In a climate of slight economic recovery in some European countries, but still stagnant in Italy, Sol Group achieved a growth of 6.9% in sales volume compared to the previous year.
In comparison with 2013, the sales increased mainly abroad (+12.5%); anyway, also in Italy the sales marked a growth (+1.7%), despite the stop of the production activity of the important customer Acciaieria Lucchini since May 2014. With reference to the sales volumes of the two business of the group, the Technical Gases division showed an increase of +2.9%, whereas the Home Care division, where the group operates through VIVISOL, achieved a growth of +11.2%.
EBITDA and EBIT improved and marked a growth of +8.5% and +15.4% respectively, compared with 2013. The consolidated net profit stood at €29.2m, with an increase of +34.9% compared to the prior year.
The capital expenditures of the group were €98.0m (CAPEX 15.4%) and the operating consolidated cash flow amounted to €106.2m. The total Net Debt was €212.7m, increased of €7.6m vs 12/31/2013, due to the realised investments and acquisitions. The Net Debt/Equity ratio was equal to 50.4%.
With reference to the relevant events after 31 December, 2014, we have to point out the acquisition of FLOSIT SA, a Moroccan company located near Casablanca, operating in the production and sale of technical gases. This acquisition enables SOL Group to expand its presence in the African market.
“We consider positive the results achieved in 2014,” affirmed Marco Annoni, Vice-President of SOL, “which confirms the solidness of SOL Group to develop in a very complicated economic context.”
“In the year 2015,” concluded Aldo Fumagalli Romario, President of SOL, “we’ll continue to pursue the growth trying to increase the profitability of the group, maintaining the investments program sustaining the development, the diversification and the innovation.”